MMath option requirements
The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science offers the following MMath in Computer Science program options.
Students close to completing program requirements should consult the MMath degree completion page.
MMath thesis option
The basic requirements for the thesis option are 4 one-term graduate courses and a thesis.
- At least 3 courses must be above the 600 series, including a minimum of one course in the 800 series. A student is required to have no more than 2 courses in a single area (see Areas Table). Remedial courses cannot be counted towards the course requirement.
- To maintain progress, a student must earn credit in a minimum of 2 courses each term until the course requirements are completed. A request to waive this requirement must be made in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies by the student's supervisor.
- A student must arrange supervision with a faculty member in the School by the end of the first term, and have agreed with the proposed supervisor on the general area of the proposed research. An Agreement to Supervise form must be submitted to the CS Graduate Office no later than the beginning of the second term.
- In consultation with the supervisor, the student must select a research topic for the thesis by the end of the third term. Two readers for the thesis, in addition to the supervisor, must also be chosen. The mutual agreement of the student, supervisor, and readers must be confirmed in writing with the submission of the Agreement to Read the MMath Thesis form to the CS Graduate Office. The agreement must explicitly state the topic of the thesis, and the expected completion date of the thesis. The supervisor and readers are normally members of the School of Computer Science, and normally at least one must be a regular faculty member of the School of Computer Science. The majority of the thesis committee must be drawn from CS faculty. The readers must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
- The thesis requirement requires directed research or scholarly work, and writing a thesis embodying the results. The thesis should be equivalent to four one-term courses in effort required.
- A copy of the thesis must be submitted for display to the Mathematics Graduate Office (MGO) at the time the thesis is distributed to the readers. The thesis should be on display at least 3 weeks before the seminar.
- The results of the thesis research must be presented at a publicly-announced seminar (in the same manner as a School seminar).
- The thesis must be approved by the supervisor and two readers. Credit for the Master's Thesis is assigned when the supervisor returns the signed MMath Thesis Acceptance form and a copy of the seminar announcement to the Director of Graduate Studies.
- When all degree requirements have been met, the student submits an electronic copy of the accepted thesis, in the format prescribed in the official University of Waterloo Thesis Regulations and Guide, to UWSPace for formatting review. When approved, this copy will be accepted as the official thesis deposit. The student should advise the CS Graduate Office if the supervisor requires a bound copy of the thesis and this will be arranged.
MMath research paper option
Note, it not possible to be admitted directly to the MMath Research Paper option. Students currently in the MMath Thesis or Coursework option may be able to transfer to the MMath Research Paper option with the support of their/a supervisor(s).
The Master's research paper requires the completion of 7 one-term courses and a research paper.
- 7 one-term graduate courses plus a research paper are required, not including required remedial courses. At least 4 courses must be above the 600 series, including a minimum of 2 courses in the 800 series. A student may not have more than 3 of the required 7 courses (other than the research paper) used to meet the degree requirements in a single area (see Areas Table).
- A student must earn credit in a minimum of 2 courses each term until the requirements are completed, including the research paper. A request to waive this requirement must be made in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies, by the student's supervisor. Students are encouraged to take 3 courses each term. If no remedial courses are required, the student should complete within 4 terms.
- The student should be working on the Master's Research Paper by the 3rd or 4th term of registration, or earlier at the student's discretion. Work on the research paper should be equivalent to a one-term course. The research paper must be read and approved by the student's supervisor and one reader. The supervisor and reader are normally members of the School of Computer Science, and normally at least one of them is a regular faculty member in the School of Computer Science.
- Students must present their research paper or a related study in an appropriate seminar or class. The presentation should be publicly announced (in the same manner as a School seminar).
- When all requirements have been met, the student must present one unbound copy of the research paper to the School.
The Master's Research Paper requirement is met and credit assigned when the supervisor returns the MMath Essay Acceptance form and a copy of the presentation announcement to the Director of Graduate Studies.
MMath coursework option
The basic requirements for the coursework option are 8 one-term courses, in addition to any remedial work. The following details the requirements.
- 8 one-term graduate courses are required. Remedial courses cannot be counted towards this number. At least 5 courses must be above the 600 series, including a minimum of 2 courses in the 800 series. A student may not have more than 4 of the eight courses used to meet the degree requirements in a single area (see Areas Table).
- Students can enroll in the coursework option on either a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time program is a one-year program. The part-time MMath coursework program is intended for completion in approximately 3 years, taking one course per term.
- Students enrolling in the coursework option are not guaranteed financial support. However, some TA assignments may be available on a term by term basis.
FAQ for coursework students.
MMath coursework option - Data Science
- The requirements for the Data Science specialization option are 8 one-term graduate courses, in addition to any remedial work. Remedial courses cannot be counted towards this number.
- Students should take a minimum of 4 graduate courses in Computer Science. At least two of these courses should be at the 700 or 800 level, at least one of which must be at the 800 level.
- A student may not have more than 4 courses from a single area to meet the degree requirements; see Areas Table (PDF)
In addition to the restrictions above, students must satisfy the following course requirements:
- STAT 845 Statistical Concepts for Data Science.
- Students with a CS major degree are expected to take STAT 845 CS major students will be exempted from STAT 845 if they have sufficient background in Statistics; instead, they will be required to take another STAT course from the elective core list.
Required core courses:
- CS 651 Data-Intensive Distributed Computing
- STAT 847 Exploratory data analysis
- CS major students will be exempted from taking CS 651 if they have taken an equivalent course; instead they will be required to take another CS course from the elective courses list (PDF) .
One of the following required breadth courses:
- CS 648 Database Systems Implementation
- CS 680 Introduction to Machine Learning
- CS 685 Machine Learning Theory: Statistical and Computational Foundations
Substitutions of the required breadth courses are possible, subject to the approval of the Graduate Officer.
4 Elective courses from the elective courses list (PDF)
MMath co-op option
The co-op option can be applied to any of the thesis, research paper, or coursework options in the MMath program, except for the Data Science option.
In order add the co-op option, students must:
- Discuss the co-op option with your supervisor(s), if applicable, and with your Graduate Coordinator
- Have an initial study period of at least 2 academic terms as well as completion of 4 courses toward your coursework requirements
- Have completed all remedial requirements and be in good standing
- Attend mandatory co-op professional development sessions which are announced each term by the CS Graduate Office
- Submit a program/plan change form to add the co-op option to your program. This form must be submitted before the 100% tuition and fee refund deadline (check GSPA Important Dates) in the term prior to going out on a co-op work placement
- Submit a change of enrollment status form, selecting 2-term co-op. Must be submitted to change your enrollment for the term you will be on a work term
- Complete the co-op information sheet, for each term of co-op placement
- International students must apply for a work permit
- An enrolment letter is required to apply for a work permit. You must request an enrolment letter from GSPA through the Graduate proof of enrolment request. Note: Quest must be updated and show you as being in the co-op program before the enrolment letter request can be completed
- International students on co-op placement must still pay the UHIP fee for the terms they will be on co-op
- Read complying with immigration regulations while studying. We advise students to consult with Student Success Office for questions regarding work permits
- NOTE: Once one co-op work placement has been completed, a student cannot drop the co-op option
Co-op credit requirements
In addition to the MMath program requirements, students must complete the co-op credit requirements:
- 2 co-op work term placements, with a suitable industrial organization. The required length of work term is 16 weeks and must be full-time employment
Students in the co-op option seek their own co-op employment. Review the grad co-op and arranging your own jobs page by the Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA) for information on how to access WaterlooWorks
- A student must finish their program on an academic term. After the 2 work terms, a final academic period is required to complete the co-op work report, outstanding courses, thesis or research paper
- The work placement, for thesis/research paper students, must be related to the student's research and is subject to the approval of their research supervisor
- 1 co-op work term report, submitted 1 month upon return from the final work placement, along with the MMath Co-op Credit form
Work report requirements:
The work report should relate your work term to your academic program and must have an identifiable analytic component. A report is unacceptable if it only contains a narrative, is a user's guide, or if it simply summarizes your work term tasks. Furthermore, the work report does not have to discuss original research or relate to a new technical discovery. The work report should:
- Describe a topic that is relevant and that is not deemed confidential by your employer
- Contain constructive criticism, conclusions and recommendations
- Compare and evaluate several items or alternatives using various criteria
- Discuss the underlying problem, your approach to solving the problem, and the progress you made
If the department is not satisfied with the quality of your work term report you will be expected to re-write it and resubmit within the required time frame.